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Comment Re:Moon Zero? (Score 1) 147

The only thing doing the test runs in Antarctica accomplishes that doing them in Houston doesn't is increase the risk. Yes, there's some benefit there, people behave differently if they know their life is on the line. On the other hand, if you spend half a decade training your astronauts and have them die in the final shakeout you're out literally millions of dollars and irreplaceable training time.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 5, Insightful) 485

Yes, lets run down the arguments in the article:

"It's obvious from my email today that this icon and MS pitch alone are confusing many users."
Ok, this actually has nothing to do with Windows 10 itself. It's a valid point as far as it goes, but how exactly was MS supposed to inform the affected users that the Windows 10 update was available?

"If you decide you do not wish to upgrade to Win10 now, you may want to get rid of that notification. MS doesn't tell you how (surprise!) and the procedure can range from relatively simple to "a real mess" "
Again, not actually about Windows 10. In fact it's about how to avoid Windows 10, which MS wants people to see as simply another update a la "Update Tuesday", though granted a major one.

"Many users -- especially on somewhat under-powered systems -- may find Win10 to be a painfully slow experience compared with Win7, irrespective of MS' claims."
Big citation needed. There's no evidence that Windows 10 performs worse on low power systems and there's significant evidence that it performs better.

"Worse, some functionalities important to many users are missing. If you use Windows Media Center -- that's gone from Win10. DVD playback is currently problematic."
I guess I don't know about this one. I do know I was able to play DVD's on the technical previews without issue.

"And here's a biggy. If you don't want Microsoft installing updates automatically -- if you're a user who has chosen to take control of this process up to now -- you probably will hate Win10."
Ok, here we have arguably the first real problem. MS has botched Windows updates in the past. Being able to block them and roll them back is how those situations have been limited and fixed. Lumping drivers into this forced upgrade schedule... as a laptop user this makes me nervous. Laptop drivers can be quite finicky and I don't always blindly trust newer versions when they land.

"In some environments, this is unacceptable from a support and security standpoint, and reports are already coming in regarding driver related issues."
Going back to FUD again... the automatic, unblockable upgrades only applies to Home users. If you're using Home editions in a corporate environment you're gonna have a bad time. It's also probably against your license agreement and can land you in trouble (right or not) with the licensing boards.

"The details are buried down in the new Win10 privacy policy/user agreement, but the bottom line is that by default Win10 will be sending a lot of your data from your computer to Microsoft that they never had access to before." (Data syncing by default)
We're back on track! This is a real issue potentially. I'd prefer this were more explicitly spelled out during install and the user given more fine grained control over things. Sending all your docs and data to a 3rd party by default without informed consent should be illegal IMO. The fact that you can turn the features off mitigates things, but doesn't really solve them.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 4, Interesting) 904

At some point, the freeway system will go autonomous only with no set speed limit. That will be the day the last non-autonomous, non-just-for-fun car gets sold. When you can hit the freeway at 120mph, getting nearly the same gas mileage as today thanks to drafting, no one is going to want the alternative.

Comment Re:He didn't prove any flaw (yet) (Score 1) 160

I have a car with a fast key, though you have to push a button on the trunk. I'm gonna say your concern is unwarranted. The range of the fast key for the trunk sensor is very short, not more than 2 or 3 feet centered in the back of the trunk. There's simply no conceivable way a shady character could surreptitiously be that close without me noticing them.

Comment 1.2 Billion (Score 4, Informative) 85

Remember folks. When you lie, cheat, and steal for 1.2 billion dollars, we will talk about all the pressures you are under and force you to resign in disgrace. If you rob $100 from the cash register at quickie-mart when the cashier isn't looking, we'll talk about how you're the scourge of society and put you away for 20 years.

Comment Re:Spacejunk (Score 2) 15

Their smaller size means they experience higher drag relative to their mass, they will fall out of orbit much more quickly than a full sized satellite in a similar orbit would. Since they are earth observing, and with very limited optics I would venture a guess that they are in a very low orbit and will come down relatively quickly.

Comment Re:24/7 access does NOT = "unfettered" access (Score 4, Informative) 459

Honest question. Do you think a nuclear weapons sized Uranium 235 extraction system (several thousand highly calibrated industrial sized centrifuges) can be moved in days, weeks, or even months? That is what weapons inspectors care about; not nuclear material (which could easily fit in the back of a truck), not nuclear reactors (which by any reasonable international agreements they have a right to), not engineering (which could be done in any random basement).

The extraction equipment is literally the only part of making a nuke that is significantly difficult to hide, it's the only thing the inspectors are actually spending time looking for. And it is far too large and complex an enterprise to hide in a few days time.

Comment Re:Fallout (Score 2) 364

I like how this questionable factoid gets parroted with not context. First and foremost, China doesn't hold "most" of US sovereign debt. As other people have pointed out it's closer to 10-15%.

Second, what's your point? Even if China owned 100% of issued US bonds, they have no power over the US beyond the terms of said bonds. They can't "call in" the debt, that's not how bonds work. The worst they could do would be to sell the bonds at a significant loss, temporarily flooding the market with US debt and making it more expensive for the US to sell bonds today. The costs to China would be significant, and the damage to the US would be marginal.

Comment Re:What is the point? (Score 3, Interesting) 141

We can send whatever instruments we want to do whatever science we want.

Nope, false. Absolutely and completely false to the point of dishonesty. The most advanced rover ever put down an another celestial body has traveled a grand total of 11.5 km over the last four years. Meanwhile a manned rover designed in the 60s had a range of 92km on a single charge and could cover that distance in a matter of hours. The manned moon landings covered more ground, gathered more material, and performed more science (relative to instruments available at the time anyway) than all the unmanned missions to all the other celestial planets combined.

Putting humans on Mars for a month, with the equipment to allow them to travel and investigate, would teach us more about Mars than decades of rovers and landers. And that's ignoring the sample return aspects which are defacto built into a manned mission.

Comment Re:How do we know we've only discovered 1% of NEAs (Score 2) 54

It's not that hard, you know how much of the sky you've looked at. You know the sizes, positions, and velocities of all the asteroids you've cataloged. From there it's a non-trivial but certainly doable calculation to come up with an estimate of the total number.

Comment Re:Morons ... (Score 1) 190

So instead of one case in the court system you want 5 or 6 separate cases clogging up the court system? Not to mention these are civil cases where the burden of proof is lower, there will be times when the argument to any one point is unconvincing but the sum of the arguments is.

"You know, we've won awards for this crap." -- David Letterman